Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, (known as Kendrick Lamar) born (June 17, 1987) in Compton, California is an American artist, rapper and songwriter who has gained recognition for his music at a worldwide level since his very first mixtape as Kendrick Lamar.
The Rise Of Kendrick
Kendrick started his career at an early age, he was just a 16-year-old teenager when he released his first mixtape in 2004, under the artistic name K-Dot for which he gained local recognition, and he titled the mixtape Youngest Head Nigga in Charge (Hub City Threat: Minor of the Year). The tape led him to secure a record label contract with an indie label based in Carson, California, Top Dawg Entertainment.
Under Top Dawg, Lamar recorded 26 tracks and released them all as his second mix-tape in early 2006 Training Day which grounded more possibilities for the young artist, earning him to be featured and co-operate with other artists in stages such as Jay Rock and Ya Boy. He also managed to get the opening act for the veteran artist The Game and was partitioned to be on tour with him, which marked a groundbreaking event, he also got featured in two of his songs Cali Niggaz and The Cypha.
In 2009, Lamar received a co-sign from Superstar Lil Wayne and released his third mixtape titled C4, leaving behind the artistic name 'K-Dot' and adopting his birth name as his creative name, 'Kendrick Lamar'.
"The reason was I wanted people to know who I am as a person and who I represent.”, Kendrick explained to Hard Knock TV, from here on he started his path to greatness and rose to fame.
Claim To Greatness
Time to look at why he is so great, and a credible candidate for the greatest rapper of all time. I'll step away from the timeline order, let us now approach the reasons his fans, other great artists, and professionals consider him such an important subject in the musical and artistic field.
The first aspect people notice in Kendrick's artistry is the fact that he has a great understanding of lyrical construction and the capacity to display through words a story, a thought or a real life aspect. He uses poetic approach to complex lyrical delivery without giving into complexity for the sake of it. Kendrick also keeps it simple to deliver complex ideas - a structure that allows Kendrick's music to flow.
The second aspect? Kendrick's diversity. With today’s over-exploited musical industry many artists find themselves trapped in having to play the same role over and over - Lamar was not giving in to this. Almost none of his songs sound identical one to another, might be that a few sound similar among themselves but never the same. The one key aspect he plays with the most is the subject of each song, they all tell a different tale.
The third significant aspect to mention is that his live performances are a vast output of strength and they deliver a quality performance. He keeps it vivid, he performs without failure, petitions the fans to collaborate with him and truly sings and raps (in some cases improvises in stage) with dynamic energy. Kendrick loves what he does and for a music fan to see an artist enjoy himself in the art form and performance is the true essence of a musician. Kendrick educated himself in his art form; he studied how his idols and legends made their craft and came up with tactics for his style.
What about the music?
Let's take a look at which of Kendrick's tracks best represent his ability. Good Kid bridges that all actions will have a consequence and that realistic thoughts and practical actions will bring real results. He also covers how fantasy concepts intoxicate the young minds, and they must step out of that fantastical comfort to find themselves in the real world, with this, he is approaching a whole generation and generations to come to believe in themselves.
The untitled unmastered discussion is another valuable bit of artistry of his own that prove he has the right to this spot; the album is eight tracks with the same title that vary widely in sound and genius especially. In Track 7 he approaches three main components to an artist’s greatness, emotional rushing, initial elation and inflated confidence in oneself to create and perform. The rest of the songs of the album also touch on such subjects but this track envelopes his authenticity and originality the most, as in general opinion to fans and critiques.
Released 14 April 2017
In my opinion Kendrick Lamar cemented himself as the greatest rapper of all time in 2017 with the release of DAMN. which for the first time gave him the top spot on the Billboard Album Charts and reached out in a viral spree in global output. The album features Kendrick’s most prominent skill, his storytelling; it tells the story of himself. The album tells the tale of how it was to grow in Compton, his life situation, moments of poverty and emotional discomfort, the loss, the anger, the fantasies and how he finally struggled to reach his dream. Not many artists take the time or have the confidence to portray their life in a whole album, Lamar made it crystal clear in details.
If you are not convinced let us add a few extras in general to why he is the greatest rapper in front of so many people and also considered GOAT. First of all, GOAT stands for 'greatest of all time' and the discussion among fans and professionals in the industry started in 2015 with the release of To Pimp A Butterfly.
- He won five GRAMMY awards in 2016 for 'Best Rap Album', 'Best Rap Performance', 'Best Rap Song', 'Best Rap/Sung Collaboration' and 'Best Music Video'.
- He was listed in 2016 as one of “the 100 most influential people worldwide” by “TIME” Magazine.
- Every single track from DAMN. entered the Billboard Hot 100
Aside from musical recognition, Kendrick was given two Civic Honours by the California Senate in 2015 for helping with the renewal and maintenance of the neighbourhoods he grew up surrounded. The Kendrick did all this was a way of giving back to Compton after attributing the town where he was born and raised as the reason he has achieved so much. On February 13th, 2016 he was handed the 'Key To The City' by the Mayor of Compton, California for "representing Compton's evolution, embodying the New Vision for Compton."